Beckwith Wiedemann Children's Assn of NZ (Inc)
Assisting families and individuals affected with BWS
Home      Health Risks associated with BWS
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There are many risks associated with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, but as mentioned elsewhere, the majority of these risks can be managed,  provided that they are detected in a timely manner.

Tumors: Children with BWS have a much higher chance of developing tumors than the non-BWS child.  The risk of a BWS child developing tumors is approximately ten times the risk factor for the average population.  Another fact that is not commonly known is that a BWS child can be born with tumors.

The most common of the tumors affecting BWS children are hepatablastoma (tumors of the liver) and Wilm’sTumor (kidney tumor).  There are other tumors associated with BWS, but these are far less common.

The important thing to be aware of is that, although both hepatablastoma and Wilm’s Tumor are rapidly growing tumors, both have a very high recovery rate (~95% for Wilm’s Tumor and 100% for hepatablastoma) provided that they are discovered early.

Because of the rapid tumor growth, combined with the higher risk factors for children with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, a screening protocol has been developed specifically for BWS children.

Full details of the screening protocol can be found here, but in brief the protocol calls for abdominal ultrasounds every three months, and blood tests to monitor Alpha FetoProtein (AFP) levels every six weeks.